The Eleven City Race
The 200 km long Elfstedentocht, organised by the De Friesche Elfsteden association, has existed for over 100 years. The first organised skating race was organised on 2 January 1909, and the last one on 4 January 1997. Back then, almost 17,000 people completed the 200 km route within the set time deadline, which meant arriving at the finish before midnight.
If the weather conditions are favourable, competitive skaters complete the course in less than seven hours while amateurs need around 18 hours to finish. Women have been allowed to take part in the race since 1985. Klasina Seinstra from Luxwoude won the ladies’ race in 1997 in a time of 7 hours and 49 minutes. The men’s winner was farmer Henk Angenent from Alphen aan den Rijn. His winning time was 6 hours and 49 minutes.